Matthew R. Perry

Slurs Have No Place in Responsible Dialoguing

In Devotional, Uncategorized on April 11, 2007 at 8:48 am

Don Imus, a radio talk show personality, recently came under fire after an on-air slur (article here) in reference to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team.

Former NBA All-Star guard Tim Hardaway recently came under fire in a radio interview on February 14 for his comments concerning his hatred of homosexuals. In the transcript from the Miami Herald of his comments in a radio interview with Dan LeBatard, he said:

Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don’t like gay people and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it.

Ann Coulter, best-selling conservative author known for her rather candid style against all things perceived liberal, was a featured speaker at the 34th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. She used a homosexual slur to describe Democratic Presidential hopeful John Edwards (D-N.C.).

What is happening here? What happened to all the political correctness which was supposed to cure all these intolerant ills in our society? Slurs of this nature have no place in responsible dialoguing — but even if the slurs fail to leave our mouths, do we not see that these sentiments still reside in the human heart? Absolutely.

One pastor I heard years ago said that “profanity is an empty mind trying to express itself.” Condescending into the use of these types of slurs puts that emptiness on even bigger display. What is the motivation for these slurs?

(1) They are trying to get a laugh. Don Imus and Ann Coulter fall into this crowd. I call it the “All in the Family Syndrome.” The character of Archie Bunker fits this perfectly — saying something so ignorant and so shocking that people laugh at it.

(2) Conviction. Tim Hardaway falls into this category. Say what you will, at least he was honest. He did violate the PC Code of Dialogue, but he stated exactly how he felt.

(3) To elicit a reaction and to keep them in the forefront of conversation. I confess, I really didn’t know who Don Imus was until this whole broohaha came about. I didn’t really keep up with Ann Coulter much until her gaffe. But like many who find themselves purposely on the tabloids, these folks may have said these things simply to keep their names in the forefront of the public conversation.

As many of you know, I’m a big Rhett and Link fan. They have illustrated beautifully this very point.

So maybe it’s just time we quit feeding the frenzy. Give these folks as much attention (and as much prayer) as they deserve. No attention… much prayer.

Oh, one last thing: Don Imus noted that, even though he uses sexist and racist language, that’s just not who he is. He’s a good person who gives to many charitable organizations. Yet, how does Imus reconcile his mindset with Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:34: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”? In two words — he can’t. Let us pray for Christ to transform Imus’, Coulter’s, and Tim Hardaway’s heart.

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